Last year I decided to try decorating the Christmas tree for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and New Years. It may sound odd, but it works extremely well. Here are a few arguments for pulling out the tree on October 1st and changing up the decorations on the day after each holiday.
- Artificial trees are expensive. Even the cheap ones are $100+. I’ve seen some listings for close to $1000 and I’m sure there are more expensive options out there. If I’m going to spend the same amount of money (or more) that I spent on my new couch for a holiday decoration, then it only makes sense to find ways to use it more often. Why let it collect dust in storage for 11 out of every 12 months?
- Options for decorating an apartment. As an apartment dweller, the amount of space I have to decorate during the holidays is minimal. All apartments have rules and limitations on what can/not be done to their walls and in the area just outside your front door. In addition to that, general space in an apartment tends to be limited. Finding a spot for the tree is a challenge, but it’s less of a challenge than trying to find places for statues, Knick knacks, wall hangings, etc. Most people have a spot where the Christmas tree is set up every year, so taking that space and putting that same tree in that designated spot is reasonably easy. Plus, there’s always under the tree! In the photos below, you’ll see how things that can’t be placed on the tree, can be placed under it, and the whole thing works visually while remaining contained in a manageably small(ish) area.
- Storage: Ornaments are small and tree lights and other decorations don’t take up much space. That, combined with the tree that is already taking up storage space, is a lot easier to coordinate than a misc. collection of holiday specific decorations.
- Themes: Ornaments are available in every possible style and theme. It’s easy to find characters from movies, old cartoons, TV shows, legends and myths – practically anything you can think of has been turned into an ornament by someone, somewhere. I’ve started keeping track of the things that I address/represent during each distinct holiday. Since the theme changes each month, beginning October 1st and ending the first week of January, that provides plenty of room for growing a meaningful (to me) collection of ornaments based on each holiday’s theme. As time goes on, I have the ability to change those themes by changing a few ornaments – while keeping the space taken up in my storage area to a minimum.
For an example, here is this year’s Halloween tree. It’s heavily focused on Halloween themed shows that I like, costumes, trick or treating, dragons, and transformations. Last year I covered the entire thing in little plastic monarch butterflies, but they were a bit transparent, and the colors weren’t bright enough, so they just blended into the tree. Now I have a few brightly colored ornaments that represent butterflies, moths, and bees, which works.
In the future, I intend to add homage to the Salem witch trials and witch burnings in general.
I really like the way ancestors are honored during the Mexican Day of the Dead holiday, but I have not figured out how to transform that general concept into my heritage and traditions. Someday I will, most likely, start adding ornaments that honor people on my genealogical family tree.